Hot Lead in DB Cooper Case
FBI comparing suspect's fingerprints with those found on plane
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Aug 1, 2011 2:02 AM CDT
Updated Aug 1, 2011 4:55 AM CDT
An artist's sketch shows the skyjacker known as DB Coope from the recollections of passengers and crew of a Northwest Orient Airlines jet he hijacked between Portland and Seattle in 1971.   (AP Photo/FBI, File)
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(Newser) – Forty years later, the FBI just might be closer to nailing the bold hijacker who parachuted, scot-free, from a plane with $200,000 in ransom. Officials say they have their "most promising" lead yet in the decades-long search for DB Cooper. A suspect's name and an unrevealed piece of personal property have been given to the FBI by a law enforcement source, and agents are trying to match fingerprints. The property is "back at our lab and we hope to compare it to partial fingerprints we got in the hijacking," an FBI spokeswoman told the Seattle Post Intelligencer. "It would be a real break if it came back."

The FBI also has Cooper's DNA from a small clip-on tie the hijacker left on the plane before collecting his ransom and leaping from the aircraft. Agents have been poring over the evidence—including a parachute, a boarding pass bearing the name of Dan Cooper, and some bills—since the crime. Cooper threatened to blow up a Northwest Orient plane en route to Seattle unless he was given four parachutes and the money. Once he got what he wanted in Seattle, he ordered the crew to fly to Mexico, and leaped from the craft en route in the middle of a storm.